When you’re carving out a role for yourself as an expert contributor on TV and radio, it’s vital that you listen and watch as much ‘output’ as you can. It helps you work out where to ply your expertise and create opportunities for appearing. And it’s a way to find, and understand, your market.
Once you’ve found two or three ‘pet programme(s)’ on which you know you have a chance of appearing (because they tackle your subject area), you’re in a great position to feed them titbits from your world – your blog on something that happened recently, or a Tweet to the producer/presenter/programme with a news article they’d be interested in, that you can comment on – so your effort and energy is targeted on just a few programmes that really suit your expertise.
Start by simply switching on and tuning in to the programmes below, in the car, in the kitchen, allowing them enough time so you become familiar with what you’re hearing. Pay attention to the interviews between presenters and expert contributors (NOT the politicians, celebrities, sports personalities, reporters/correspondents or company spokespeople). It will take time to build the picture, so challenge yourself, be disciplined, be patient and make notes.
Discomfort zone warning: like anything new that you study, and when you apply ‘active listening’, it will take a bit of extra effort. It might even take you out of your comfort zone to begin with because we all become wedded to our favourite stations (no more Magic FM, sorry!) – but it will be worth it.
So, actively listen out for:
The stories or ‘items’ that get covered – is the programme likely to tackle your subject area?
The style/tone/pace – is it upbeat or laid-back, friendly or formal?
The duration of the interviews – as this will influence how you prepare for your appearance on the show.
How the questions are answered – be critical; could they have done better, did the expert make sense, did the expert make you want to listen more?
The contents of the show – is it themed, or a mixture of different topics, how newsy/current is it, what happens when and what is the interviewer’s style?
AND APPLY THAT TO THESE RADIO PROGRAMMES:
• Radio 2: Jeremy Vine – daily from midday
• Radio 4: Today programme – daily 6-9am (listen out for experts, not controversial and combative interviews)
• Radio 4: Any programme (not drama or comedy): scour the website to identify relevant specialist shows for your expertise
• World Service: ditto
• Radio 5 Live: anytime of the day or night, especially Wake Up To Money, Breakfast, Afternoon Edition and Drive
• Your local radio station (especially if your customers tend to be local or you need a gentle introduction to being an on air guest)
Use http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ to catch up, get the BBC iPlayer Radio app and/or use the “Tune-in Radio” app – to listen to any station, anywhere in the world.
AND OCCASIONALLY WATCH SOME TELLY:
• The rolling news channels, such as BBC News Channel, Sky News, Bloomburg have expert interviewees on all the time.
• BBC Breakfast always has interesting and varied guests/topics. (NB Not on iPlayer, so record it or watch it live.)
• Main news shows (BBC, ITV, Ch4, 5) are good for identifying different broadcast scenarios and what’s required of experts (live from a location, live in the studio, or pre-recorded reporter pieces), although interviewees are usually connected to the story in some way.
You and your business will benefit from being on-air. With in-depth, bespoke and supportive media training and visibility coaching, lead by former national TV and radio business journalist Penny Haslam, you can maximise your opportunities to appear on TV and radio. To work out how your expertise can find its’ way on air, email Penny to arrange your FREE 30-minute consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org